Sony Xperia 10

A great concept, low price, good features but let down by poor software. The Xperia 10 just doesn’t deliver when its needed.

So last year I was getting totally miffed by my high end Razor Mobile 1, a super expensive 4K phone that was utter crap and required rebooting several times a day. Previous to that phone, I also had a period of buying top end mobiles but finding they are all pretty much the same and each new model doesn’t really give you much more than the previous model, with the exception of bragging rights. So I started to think, at the end of the day, Android is Android and how different can lower priced models be to the big boys?

So I started to look around at what was available for under £500 (GBP), a colleague had recently purchased the Google Pixel and was very happy with it, but to me it looked just like all the other Android phones. Surely there must be something different out there, that is breaking the mould of every other smart phone on the market?

Then I discovered the new (at the time of purchase) Sony Xperia 10, it’s USP “Ultra Wide Resolution Screen”. So I popped along to the Sony UK website and started to go through the usual amount of marketing crap but started to think, “actually this looks OK”. It had 64Gb standard memory but allowed SD card expansion, a 13MP camera on the back (5MP on front), it should have Sony’s awesome sound playback and featured that old fashioned thing that I cannot do without, a 3.5mm headphone jack (I’m a purist music lover, I will not use bluetooth due to quality lose). I also really liked the sound of the 21:9 ration 6″ screen with the ability to run dual apps on the screen at the same time (which I will admit I have never used). All of this for under £300 – I was sold…

I purchased direct from the Sony website with a case to protect the screen. This arrived about a week later together with a 256Gb SD card I ordered from eBay. I used the Google backup/sync to copy across all my main data from my old Razor phone and then spent a few hours copying across most of my music collection in both MP3 and FLAC format. One thing I really liked was that the Sony used the SD card as an expansion to its current storage, unlike the Razor phone which used it as alternative (meaning I plugged in a 128Gb card to go with the 64Gb on board, but ended up with only 128Gb as it ignored the on board – WTF!). I then started to ensure all my usual apps still worked and knew who I was, which all did.

So moving forward a few months of use, how do I feel about this medium priced ranged product? We in general, most of the time it is fine. I really like the camera and especially taking video and phones in ultra wide format, can get some awesome panoramic shots. The audio playback as you would expect from a Sony product was just fantastic, playing 48KHz 24bit FLAC files through a good pair of headphones (which also happen to be Sony) is just so nice. However, there are quite a lot of things that are really starting to bug me. For example, while I do not have huge fingers and thumbs, I find it exceedingly frustrating typing messages on the on screen keyboard. I am constantly hitting the wrong key, sometimes pressing space when I don’t want to and then not hitting space when I want to. There has also been times when the phone just randomly and for no reason will start clicking things on the screen without me touching it. In fact it got so bad at one point, I lost the plot and threw the phone across the room. On that occasion, the screen survived and strangely enough, this random pressing of things has not happened since (maybe I scared the phone!).

Another really annoying thing that keeps happening, is the phone will randomly and without warning just loose the WiFi single. Despite the single being strong and private (not public), it will just turn off. Then when I go into the connection settings, there are no WiFi signals present for a few seconds. Then they will appear again and the phone connects. I have noticed a few users complaining about this on various sites including Sony’s own support site, but Sony will not admit there is a problem.

So to summaries, there are some really great features on this phone and I think I have been won over by this price range as there are very few features not present that the big boys have, mobile charging (Qi) being about the only one I miss. However, this is the second time in my life I have owned a Sony mobile and the first experience was not good either, with the hardware being let down by too many software glitches. I am also a great believer in twice bitten…. never again…

So do I recommend this phone, only if you like the wide screen feature, otherwise no, there are too many software glitches which other users are complaining about that must be relative to the unit.

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)